Poverty in Costa Rica is the Highest in the Last 28 Years

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According to the National Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC), the number of poor homes in Costa Rica reached 419,783 through June 2020, a 26.2% of the total, this is the highest percentage since 1992 when that percentage reached 29.4%, and a rise of 5.2 percentual points in comparison to 2019.

As of July 2019, the number of homes living in poverty was estimated in 335,895; however, unemployment continues to raise in part because of the pandemic, it currently reaches 24% of the active population. In terms of people this represents an increase of 6.1 points, which means there are close to 321,874 more people that live in conditions of poverty.

The Costa Rican government is battling a financial crisis and a wave of protests that have partially paralyzed the country for the past couple of weeks as groups express their discontent with the financial measures proposed by the government to negotiate a loan with the International Monetary Fund.

In the last 20 years, the percentage of poor homes in Costa Rica has maintained slightly above 20%. The country will be closing 2020 with the highest deficit of the last 40 years, close to 10% to 12% of the GNP.

When viewed by areas, poverty increased considerably more in the urban areas, with a rise of 6.6 points while in the rural areas it only increased by 1.3 percentual points.
The Central Pacific and the Chorotega regions are the two areas with the highest levels of poverty.

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